The European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery unreservedly opposes the unlawful invasion of the sovereign state of Ukraine by the Russian Federation. We join with the overwhelming international majority in condemning these actions and in demanding an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine.
As an Association, we have considered how best to respond to this crisis in the interests of our Ukrainian members and the patients they support. We have taken the following steps;
- We are immediately designating an emergency fund of €100,000 which we will use to best support the cardiothoracic community of Ukraine. We will be consulting with Vasyl Lazoryshynets, the Director of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Surgery in Ukraine and other relevant bodies on the best use and timing of this fund whether in the form of emergency support now or to support rebuilding services in the future.
- We have invited Vasyl Lazoryshynets to address members of EACTS Council, when convenient, to help us understand how best we can further support our Ukrainian colleagues both through the use of the emergency fund and other tangible means of support.
- Today, our President – Friedhelm Beyersdorf – and Secretary General – Rafa Sadaba – have written to each Ukrainian member of EACTS setting out the steps we are taking and offering our unreserved support.
- EACTS is an association of individual members; we do not have countries or their societies in membership. As a small gesture, we will be waiving the membership fee for all members from Ukraine, including for any new members who wish to join this year. It is important the services and educational tools we offer and all the benefits of EACTS’ membership, are available as widely as possible to those in greatest need.
- We have posted statements on our social media accounts condemning the invasion. We have posted a video message from Vasyl Lazoryshynets and will continue to demonstrate our solidarity with the people in Ukraine.
We want to express our unequivocal support for the cardiothoracic surgeons and wider heart teams, their families and friends in Ukraine at this time. This act of aggression is having a devastating effect on the Ukrainian people, leading to multiple casualties and loss of life, separated families and a humanitarian crisis. We are deeply concerned for our Ukrainian members and Ukrainian citizens and express our solidarity and support for the people and health professionals of Ukraine.